Synopses & Reviews
What were the best novels written by Americans during the twentieth century? Does "best" necessarily mean the most influential at the time of publication, or that the book was a best-seller or held the highest standard of writing from purely an academic point of view? Eleanor Gehres, former Director of the Denver Public Library's Western History Department, was assigned the task of evaluating the field of American literature in the twentieth century and came up with this book. Novels recommended by others were discarded if they did not pass Eleanor's criteria: First, was the book important; and, second, was the book still a good read in the current day?
Entries range from masterpieces, such as Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Nabokov's Lolita, and Potok's The Chosen, to such modern classics as Pat Conroy's The Great Santini, James Dickeys Deliverance, and Toni Morrison's Beloved. Organized chronologically by decade, offering anywhere from four to twenty-five chosen novels for each decade, Eleanor's notes on these distinguished books will make you want to rediscover, or read for the first time, the key ingredients to what made these books claim the title "best" of the past 100 years.
A thought-provoking compendium of the best American novels of the twentieth century.
About the Author
After receiving her masters degree in history and library science from the University of Denver, Eleanor M. Gehres worked in the Denver Public Library's Western History Department, where she became manager in 1974, a position she held shortly before her passing in 2000.